Motions to Suppress in Oregon DUI Cases
Motions to suppress in Oregon DUI cases are fairly common in cases that are not eligible for Oregon’s DUII diversion program (that is: cases that are headed for trial). “Motion” is the word used to explain any time the prosecutor or the defense asks the court to do something, or make findings. A party moves the court to do something, typically to issue an order. A Motion to Suppress is the defendant’s request that the court order a particular piece of evidence be suppressed or excluded at trial because that evidence was obtained by government authorities in violation of proper procedure. This may be a violation of the United States Constitution, the Oregon Constitution, Oregon law, or a local county or city ordinance. In an Oregon DUI trial, the evidence may include police officer’s observations, the driver’s statements, the driver’s performance on the field sobriety exercises, the driver’s refusal to perform such exercises, the driver’s breath test results , and/or the driver’s breath test refusal.
In an Oregon DUI case, a Motion to Suppress hearing is always held in advance of trial. If the judge rules that the evidence is found to be admissible, it will be admitted at trial without further hearing as to its admissibility. In an Oregon DUII case, if the judge determines that the evidence is found to be inadmissible, it will not be admitted at trial, and the prosecuting attorneys will not be allowed to refer to this evidence, except to impeach. Impeachment, in this context, means that if the witness on the stand contradicted something he said earlier then the prosecutor may bring in a piece of evidence to discredit the witness’s credibility and show that he has said two conflicting statements.
Preparing, filing, and litigating a Motion to Suppress is often a critical part of an Oregon DUI proceeding. A well thought-out and prepared Motion to Suppress may lead to an outright dismissal of the case or the suppression of items or statements which once suppressed may improve the defendant’s negotiation position and prospects at trial.
In Oregon DUI cases, Motions to Suppress must be filed in a timely fashion or the defendant may lose his right to file. In addition, if the defendant doesn’t file in a timely manner he will not be able to raise any Fourth Amendment issues presented in his case.
In an Oregon DUI, the attorneys will argue the Motion to Suppress in its own hearing in front of a judge. The burden of proof rests upon the State, just the same as at trial.
Should I File A Motion To Suppress In My DUI Case?
In an Oregon DUI case, the most common Motion to Suppress hearings typically involve challenges to the officer’s belief that the officer had probable cause to make the traffic stop and challenges to the administration of the test which determined the defendant’s blood alcohol content. In Oregon DUII is the Intoxilyzer 8000. An officer must have had a reasonable belief that a crime was being committed or about to be committed to stop someone. If he didn’t have reasonable belief then the stop is considered poisonous and anything that the police acquired from the stop is considered fruit from the poisonous tree.
Motions to suppress the results from the Intoxilyzer 8000 results typically center on whether the test was conducted properly. There are strict guidelines as to how this test must be administered and if any of these guidelines was not followed that may be reason that the defendant wins this motion. In an Oregon DUII trial if the defendant wins a Motion to Suppress, the items or statements obtained as a result of an unlawful arrest or search that were argued successfully in the Motion to Suppress will be suppressed and cannot be used as evidence against him. Walder v. United States, 347 U.S. 62 (1954).